Horse Wraps Bandages
Polo (fleece) wraps can be a fashion item, as well as a leg protection option for your horse. Polo wraps do not support the leg - they offer protection from bumps and scuffs, but they won't provide support. (there is a subtle difference, but an important one!)
When you switch from boots to bandages / wraps there are a couple of things to know:
- What the different materials do
- How to apply a training bandage
- How to apply a stable bandage
- Whether to use under-pads or not?
Polo wraps come in different styles and options:
1. Elastic material
2. Fleece material (the 'original' polo wraps)
3. Combination Bandages with fleece & elastic
The more elastic wraps are often used as stable bandages over thick cotton pads. These bandages can also be used as travel bandages to protect your horse's legs during travel in the float. The pads are meant to cushion the tightness of the elastic bandage and avoid any tendon problems. The padding distributes the pressure of the bandage.
Be very careful with elastic wraps as it it easy to over-tighten the bandages which may cause damage to tendons and ligaments. Because of this it is not recommended to apply the wraps directly on your horse's legs
The fleece wraps (or Polo bandage) can be used as a training / exercise bandages
These fleece bandages have less stretch in them and are of a thicker material. They can be used directly on the leg, without the additional protection of the cotton under pads. However, if you feel unsure about wrapping, you may still use pads under these bandages.
You still need to ensure that the wraps are not too tight and they apply an even pressure to the legs.
These start off with a fleece or foam material to mimic the underpad you would put under your training bandages. The next half of the bandage is made of elastic material. So even though you started off with the foam material, you still need to be careful with the tightness of your bandage.
on the left legs, you’re wrapping in a counterclockwise direction but for the right legs the direction is clockwise (i.e. always towards the tail). When you start wrapping the polo - keep the end of the roll on the inside of the horse leg and make sure the end is facing towards the tail of your horse. You wrap inside to outside, and front to back.
I am clearly no expert and that's why I prefer to use the underpads. This makes using the bandages on their legs less likely to cause any major issues.
When you first start wrapping legs, please have somebody to teach you how to do this. Ask your riding instructor or a professional groom. They will be more than happy to help.